Big Data

How Can Big Data Analysis Help Professionals in the Music Industry?

The DIY ethic adopted by many hopeful artists is not only part of their sales pitch, but in many cases, a piece of their identity as a musician.

The van-living, tape-giving, gig-hunting lifestyle immortalized by punk rock is still an endearing and charming prospect for musicians aching to show the world they don’t care, but times change, and they might find a helpful ally in big data.

Whether you happen to be a bedroom DJ, a full-time touring musician, a SoundCloud EDM phenomenon waiting to be discovered, or a manager in the making, studying for a business analytics masters might be able to illuminate your path to success.

The Numbers Behind the Streaming Services  

The days of a single selling 700,000 physical units on its initial run are perhaps long gone, but in its wake, streaming platforms have stepped in to deliver a unique set of insights into the modern consumer.

There is no question that Spotify has enraged many popular artists in the past, yet its algorithm may be able to benefit you as an emerging musician.

A business analytics masters can teach you how to interpret this data and use it to your advantage. For example, if you can use data to help you understand what style of track is gaining traction among a certain demographic, creating a hit track, or at least one that gets noticed, can become a very real possibility.

The algorithms implemented by a plethora of music streaming platforms tend to operate on a number of levels, including the overall time spent listening to any given track, how many times that track is favorited, and how often it is added to playlists, to name just a few.

Learning how to properly interpret big data is one of the keys to accessing the millions of avid music lovers who make their daily pilgrimage to discover new music just like yours or the artists you want to manage.

Multi-Platform Data Analysis

A plethora of bands and artists thrive on their ability to make themselves accessible to their fans. Bands like the Libertines might have recognized the value in this through their pioneering guerrilla gigs, a feat they made possible by utilizing forums in the early days of social media.

This is a multi-platform approach to marketing yourself as a musician is now easier than ever before, partly thanks to over half of the world’s population owning a social media account.

When combined with music streaming platforms and the figures from your website traffic, these statistics can be used to draw up a precise picture of your target audience. However, it does not stop there as data analysis can help you predict trends and observe which ways fans are interacting with your music.

Learning how to take a multi-platform approach to data analysis is crucial in developing an all-encompassing business model, which in a way, a musician embodies perfectly. Taking a business analytics masters course can prepare you for learning about how the music industry consistently uses data to inform its decisions.

Breaking into the Industry

A business analytics masters could provide the means by which you break into the music industry, to begin with.

There are many facets of the business to consider throughout an industry ruled by multi-billion-dollar corporations; from sales to public relations and marketing to talent management, there is no shortage of high-paying roles on offer. However, the data-analyst possibly falls into a unique category in that they often drive innovation on an immense scale.

They are also the skilled professionals who influence important decisions, and often these decisions are often what take the industry in an entirely new direction.

For those of you who are ensnared by the timeless enchantment of music itself, a chance to influence the industry might come as a welcome opportunity.

When studying for a business analytics masters, you will get the chance to explore the many properties of data and apply it in a practical environment. For example, learning how to present data to shareholders, how to visualize data, and how to understand patterns to make way for improvements are all transferrable skills that can be applied to many industries.

Calling All Music Managers

Behind the world’s biggest bands and artists is likely a business-savvy manager with good taste and a reliable intuition. Sometimes, managers can struggle to get amazing bands recognized in the first instance, bands that are now celebrated as household names.

This is another area in which big data analysis has the potential to come to the rescue. There are many reasons an artist might never emerge gracefully from their cocoon, such as a lack of exposure, an inaccessible fanbase, or even a mismatch with the contemporary zeitgeist.

If becoming a music manager is a career path that sounds like it might fit you perfectly, a business analytics masters might be able to provide you with the tools, techniques, and resources to become the next Troy Carter, who, alongside being one of the most prolific managers in history, notes a divide between music and technology.

Using data analysis to bridge the gap between art and business can be a useful technique to possess as a modern music manager. For example, using behind-the-scenes stats and figures to source your next fanbase, your next big talent, or a gap in the market are all efforts that can help you establish your name as a business literate data-driven results maker.

This can be done by carefully interpreting the figures that correspond to the listening demographic or by making predictions based on the trajectory of people’s streaming habits.

It might be argued that the time of signing an artist based on a hunch is over, which is probably for the best when the question of livelihood is often at stake.

Who is Your Audience?

Music is permanently entwined into the fibers of culture, and many demographics all over the planet define their identity alongside it.

This is perhaps a vital point to note in the world of big data, as it may reveal new ways in which statistics can be used for artists and corporations to access their audience.

Pursuing a business analytics masters can help you recognize trends in listening habits based on age, gender, location, interests, profession, preferred streaming platforms, and many more.

This data can then be used in conjunction with marketing strategies and branding to create a targeted approach for exposing new music to society’s future generations of listeners.

A business analytics masters can provide you with a respected qualification that serves as a pathway into many different areas of the music business, all while nurturing your ability to solve problems based on cold-hard statistics.

If you felt like you wanted to help new artists to get discovered, this could be an ideal opportunity.

Helping New Artists

Developing a cohesive and recognizable presence as an artist is not too far removed from building a brand.

A brand needs to be able to appeal to its audience, offer a service, and come across as trustworthy and genuine.

This can be a monumental demand for anyone just starting out in their music career, as going from the bedroom recording studio to playing gigs at the Hollywood Bowl generally takes a great deal of tenacity, perseverance, and planning.

In the past, artists would have to pester radio DJs, hand tapes over the fast-food counter where they worked in their day job, or play hundreds of gigs before they gained any iota of attention.

Thanks to music streaming platforms, this does not need to be the case. For anyone interested in a business analytics masters, this may provide them with the chance to use data to discover and sell new talent.

It is entirely possible for relatively unknown artists to rack up millions of plays in a short period of time, provided they try their hand at some clever marketing techniques, including social media advertising.

These are all aspects that can be greatly enhanced through the help of a business analytics masters, as you will likely be able to get an inside look into the data behind what makes direct marketing such an effective tool.

You might find that behind the most profound digital marketing innovations is a person dedicated to turning data into maleable, diverse and highly applicable business solutions.

Influencing the Future of the Music Industry

Uncertainty is probably not the most pleasant word in the vocabulary of a business owner, especially when they are deciding which direction to take their company in.

Data analysis can help eliminate elements of uncertainty by taking a measured and logistical approach to the future of the industry.

If you felt like you wanted to make a positive change to the music industry and influence how it will form in the future, opting to go for a business analytics masters can help you out.

Obtaining information about the modern music listener is one of the first steps towards creating a world in which both the audience and the artist can fully prosper. It is how that information is applied that has the potential to drive important changes to the current situation.

Questions of accessibility, inclusion and exposure can be answered through data analysis. It can help create brand new platforms for music consumption and new methods in which to market emerging artists.

Widening the reach of businesses looking to tap into the music industry is also a prospect worth thinking about if you hope to start a career in big data, as acquiring licensing is yet another area where analyzing the fan base through statistics can thrive.

Building Your Own Business

A business analytics masters can offer you real-world experience and the opportunity to work with case studies alongside fellow ambitious thinkers. It might be said that this can set you up nicely for starting your very own business.

Music streaming sites and applications are constantly looking for new ways to improve their algorithms, develop their user data and offer innovative listening opportunities.

If you wanted to try your talents at supplying the world with the music it deserves, the time might be right for you to start working on an app.

Learning how to implement user insights into your design or pitch your ideas to developers and investors are all skills you will be able to work on when studying in an academic environment, so writing down your grand plans for a new service might prove highly profitable in the long-term, provided you put in as much research as you can.

The resources supplied to you in the form of literature, software, expert advice from tutors, and input from peers will likely be a great help no matter which area of the music industry you wish to explore.

Which Roles can be Improved by Data Analysis?

For the true music lovers among you, there are many roles that can greatly benefit and even flourish from the addition of an analytic mindset. Some of these roles may include that of a financial analyst, a digital marketer, a project manager, or an A&R representative.

It can sometimes pay to be somewhat of an all-rounder, and that is exactly what studying a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subject can help to nurture.

It might be worth noting that the music industry can be exceptionally hard to get into regardless of the role you have your heart set on, so the pursuit of further education and the desire to always keep learning can be handy traits for a candidate to possess.


The recent pandemic has changed how many artists operate on a daily basis, mostly in the form of live shows.

Platforms like YouTube offered the opportunity for some artists to push the limits of audio and visual in a virtual capacity, perhaps proving that there will always be new avenues of sound to explore.

This might be good news for the data enthusiasts; as long as digital mediums are utilized, there will likely be valuable information to pull from them.

Image Credit: Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

Acting as the CEO and founder of the site, the highly successful entrepreneur soon saw his team grow meteorically under his stewardship, amassing more than 1 million followers across the brand’s platforms. In addition, working with esteemed global entities such as Tomorrowland, AMF, EXIT Festival, Ushuaïa, Hï Ibiza, Parookaville and many others festivals and clubs aswell as some of the world’s most reputable record labels, artists and agencies.

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